Washington Color School

20th & 21st Century

Washington Color School

The Potomack Auction Company, located in the Washington D.C. area, is well positioned to specialize in Washington Color School Artists.

Beginning in the 1950s a group of Washington artists, Gene Davis, Thomas Downing, Morris Louis, Howard Mehring, Kenneth Noland and Paul Reed, influenced by the “Color Field Painting” movement in New York, came together to form the Washington Color School’s first generation. They first exhibited individually at the Jefferson Place Gallery, a cooperative founded in 1957 by a group of American University Professors.  Alice Denney, the first Director of the gallery, left in 1961 to organize the Washington Gallery of Modern Art. The six exhibited in the exhibition that coined their name “Washington Color Painters,” curated by Gerald Norland.

More local artists would join the movement in the 1960s building community and influencing each other’s work. Artists considered part of the Washington Color School’s second generation include Leon Berkowitz, Edward Corbett, Willem de Looper, Sam Gilliam, Tom Green, James Hilleary, Valerie Hollister, John G. Kofler,  Ed McGowin, Alice Mavrogordato, Robert W. Newmann, Alma Thomas, Hilda Shapiro Thorpe and Anne Truitt.

Anne Norton Craner

Director of Fine Arts

Former Curator, Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C.; former Research Associate, European Paintings Department, The Metropolitan Museum of Art; Master’s, Ecole du Louvre, Paris; fluent, French and Spanish.


Luisa Hammond

Fine Art Assistant Cataloguer

Master’s in Conservation-Restoration of Cultural Heritage, University of Bologna, Italy; Bachelor of Arts in Art History and Chemistry, Williams College


Mae Hunt

Fine Arts Assistant

Kenyon College, BA English, minoring in Art History. Collections associate at the Gund Gallery.


Randall McLean

Fine Art Appraiser

American Art Research Fellow, Corcoran Gallery

Paintings specialist with years of gallery and appraisal experience